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Becoming ChristianRace, Reformation, and Early Modern English Romance$
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Dennis Austin Britton

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257140

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257140.001.0001

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Not Turning the Ethiope White

Not Turning the Ethiope White

(p.1) Introduction Not Turning the Ethiope White
Becoming Christian

Dennis Austin Britton

Fordham University Press

The introduction suggests that exploration into Reformation theology can help flesh out an underexplained truism in early modern race studies: the inextricable link between race and religion. The introduction then considers how a simultaneous “turn to religion” and to historical formalism opens avenues for examining early modern literary responses to an emergent theology of race. Finally, it provides a brief history of the infidel-conversion motif in romances by medieval and early modern Roman Catholic writers, showing how Chanson de Roland, “The Captive’s Tale” in Don Quixote, The King of Tars, and other romances uphold Catholic notions of baptism’s unquestionable ability to create Christian identity.

Keywords:   Reformation theology, race studies, “turn to religion”, historical formalism, conversion, romance, Chanson de Roland, Don Quixote, The King of Tars

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